Tomorrow, September 10th, 2014 is the INTERNET SLOWDOWN. Don’t worry, it’s not a real slowdown. But many site will be displaying images and information on what the internet will be like if the big communications companies get their way. Even Netflix is joining in to support Net Neutrality.
Why is Net Neutrality important? For that matter, what is it?
Today, everyone pays for bandwidth. It doesn’t matter if you’re transferring files, streaming video or browsing websites. You buy bandwidth and you use it for a regular fee. If the big communications companies get their way, some traffic will get prioritization for a fee.
What’s wrong with that?
First, it stifles competition. Startups will need more funding to pay those premiums. The costs could be prohibitive. They might have a better solution or technology, but because they can’t afford the prioritized traffic premium no one will be interested.
Second, it’s going to cost you, too. No expense goes unpaid by the consumer. If Netflix pays more, you pay more.
Third, it’s unfair. Imagine if you had to pay different prices for water pumped to your home based on use. Drinking water was one price, but water used for the dishwasher had a premium. You still had just the one pipe delivering water to your house but because the dishwasher uses much more water than drinking does you have to pay extra for that. Even sillier… you don’t pay the premium, Maytag does.
Finally, it gives the big communications companies, the big ISPs, too much sway on the market. It allows them to pick winners and losers. If some traffic is prioritized guess what? Other traffic will be de-prioritized. The internet is too big a part of our economy to allow that kind of tinkering.
The data must flow equally.
Like water or electricity to your home or business, data, too, should flow equally to large and small companies. In the end, I think this is the real issue. Let me know what you think.
EDIT – Here’s a video that does a pretty good job further explaining why Net Neutrality is important.
2nd EDIT – Leave it to John Oliver to explain it better.
Comments? Questions? There’s a place for them below.